Cardiolipin remodeling by TAZ/tafazzin is selectively required for the initiation of mitophagy

Paul Hsu, Xiaolei Liu, Jun Zhang, Hong Gang Wang, Ji Ming Ye, Yuguang Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Tafazzin (TAZ) is a phospholipid transacylase that catalyzes the remodeling of cardiolipin, a mitochondrial phospholipid required for oxidative phosphorylation. Mutations of TAZ cause Barth syndrome, which is characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction and dilated cardiomyopathy, leading to premature death. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the cause of mitochondrial dysfunction in Barth syndrome remain poorly understood. Here we investigated the role of TAZ in regulating mitochondrial function and mitophagy. Using primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) with doxycycline-inducible knockdown of Taz, we showed that TAZ deficiency in MEFs caused defective mitophagosome biogenesis, but not other autophagic processes. Consistent with a key role of mitophagy in mitochondria quality control, TAZ deficiency in MEFs also led to impaired oxidative phosphorylation and severe oxidative stress. Together, these findings provide key insights on mitochondrial dysfunction in Barth syndrome, suggesting that pharmacological restoration of mitophagy may provide a novel treatment for this lethal condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Autophagy
  • Barth syndrome
  • Cardiolipin
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Mitophagosome
  • Mitophagy
  • Tafazzin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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